TCTMD’s Top 10 Most Popular Stories for December 2018

Concerns over late deaths with paclitaxel-coated balloons and stents led a diverse slate of drug and device news this month.

TCTMD’s Top 10 Most Popular Stories for December 2018

News from a meta-analysis showing a signal of late deaths with paclitaxel-coated balloons and stents, plus a story on how the findings quickly led to a pause in two trials, held the top slots on TCTMD’s most-read news for December 2018. Other articles in the top 10 this month include a fresh call for an RCT of Impella (Abiomed) in acute MI complicated by cardiogenic shock, the potential “resurrection” of device-based antihypertension therapies, and hints that thienopyridines could help identify migraine patients likely to benefit from closure of patent foramen ovale (PFO). Rounding out the list is a feature exploring how cardiology meetings have fared after MedTech Europe ended direct industry sponsorship of individual healthcare professionals.

1. Two Trials Halted in Wake of Study Linking Paclitaxel-Coated Devices to Deaths in PAD

A special meeting will be held in the coming months to review the issue. The lead author says he’s pleased endovascular specialists are taking it seriously.

2. Signal of Late Deaths With Paclitaxel-Coated DCBs and Stents for PAD Warrants Urgent Review, Authors Say

A new meta-analysis points to a dramatic rise in mortality beyond 1 year. An outside expert urges sober reflection and better studies in this space.

3. More Registry Data Show No Survival Advantage for Impella in Acute MI With Cardiogenic Shock

Experts were not discouraged by the observational study, saying this is simply a reminder of the need for a large randomized trial—DanGer awaits.

4. FDA Charts Path for ‘Resurrection’ of Device-Based Antihypertensive Therapies

The advisory panel, which chimed in on trial design and efficacy metrics, helped the FDA formulate development plans for a field that almost died.

5. New Cholesterol Guidelines Make Room for Non-Statin Therapy and CAC Screening

While the guidelines don’t recommend a specific target for treatment, they do suggest additional therapy in high-risk patients with an LDL cholesterol level of 70 mg/dL or higher.

6. PIONEER-HF: Sacubitril/Valsartan Safe and Effective in Acute Decompensated Heart Failure

One expert believes that starting stabilized acute HF patients on the drug combo is simpler given they’re going to take it long-term.

7. Thienopyridines May Help ID Migraine Patients Best Suited to PFO Closure

Two studies demonstrate hypothesis-generating evidence that would support an upcoming randomized trial, experts say.

8. E-Cigarettes: Plausible Heart Risks Flagged in New Review

Definitive evidence is lacking regarding potential CV effects, but preliminary evidence suggests some reason for concern.

9. SYNTAX Score Should Not Guide Revascularization Strategy in FREEDOM-Like Patients

In diabetic patients with multivessel CAD, the SYNTAX score was not an independent predictor of hard clinical events in those receiving CABG.

10. Bruises and Bumps: How Cardiology Meetings Survived the End of Direct Industry Sponsorship in Europe

In the wake of new regulations, a feared plunge in meeting attendance wasn’t seen and, in some cases, registration rose. But what’s next?

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